Series for Success: 5 Mistakes that People Make in Their Direct Sales Business and How to Avoid Them
Starting a direct sales business can be a great way to earn extra income or even build a full-time career. But it’s not easy. One of the keys to success is avoiding some common mistakes that could potentially hurt your business. Whether you are just starting out or have been in the industry for a while, we’ve got some tips to help you avoid these common pitfalls.
Mistake #1: Lack of Research & Planning
Partnering with a direct sales business without doing some research and planning is like going on a journey without a map or GPS. You need to have a clear understanding of the market, competition, target audience, and even some financial projections before diving into the venture. Knowing what to expect can help you identify potential pitfalls, capitalize on opportunities, and create a solid foundation for your business. But don’t let this part of the process scare you.
Market research involves analyzing consumer trends, identifying target audiences, and understanding the needs and preferences of potential customers. This research can be conducted through reading about the businesses you are interested in and talking to people who you feel you might be future customers. Are there already a lot of consultants in these companies? Are they in your area? Is there a need for the products and services that you are considering selling?
Financial planning is also important, as it helps you determine the costs associated with starting and running your business, as well as projected revenue and profitability. What inventory does a potential business require you to keep on hand? Are there any monthly fees? What about things like business cards or catalogs? Not all direct sales companies require money upfront, but if your perfect match does, make sure you budget for these types of expenses.
Conducting thorough research and planning before launching can contribute to the success of your direct sales business. It can help you create a solid foundation for your venture.
Mistake #2: Poor Product Selection
Choosing the right products to sell is a big part of a successful direct sales business. The products you select can make or break your business, so choose them wisely.
Most people go into direct sales because they are passionate about what they are selling. Many have been customers or have an interest in the products. If you don’t like to cook, don’t partner with a company that sells kitchen gadgets. If you love getting manicures, a nail care company might be a great fit. By finding a company that carries products that are a good fit for you, it’s easy to keep your customers engaged. This positivity and passion rubs off on people.
Select products that will resonate with your target audience. This can be done through market research, which was discussed in the previous section. Once you understand your audience's preferences, you can select products that meet those needs and are in demand.
Another important consideration is profit margin. Profit margin is the difference between the cost of the product and its selling price. Some products have a high profit margin while others bring in only a very small percentage. If this is important to you, it is definitely a factor to weigh when deciding what you want to sell.
Finally, when choosing products, it's also important to consider the competition. In direct sales, it isn’t uncommon to have multiple consultants in one small area. In some cases, oversaturation can be a problem. If you’re considering a company where you have to keep physical inventory, too much competition could be a problem. Web based businesses make it a little easier to spread your customer base so that you can expand your circle beyond a local audience.
Mistake #3: Poor Customer Service
Providing excellent customer service is crucial in the direct sales industry. When you are interacting with customers one-on-one, it's important to make sure that they have a positive experience with your business. This can lead to repeat business, positive word-of-mouth, and ultimately, increased sales.
Here are some tips for providing good customer service in the direct sales industry:
Respond promptly to customer inquiries: When a customer reaches out to you with a question or concern, it's important to respond quickly. This shows that you value their business and are committed to providing excellent service.
Address customer complaints: If a customer has a complaint, address it promptly and professionally. Listen to their concerns and work to resolve the issue to their satisfaction.
Be knowledgeable about your products: If someone has a question about a product, it's important to have the knowledge to answer their question. This will build trust with your customers and make them feel confident in their purchase.
Follow up with customers: After a customer makes a purchase, it's a good idea to follow up with them to make sure they are satisfied with their purchase. This can also be an opportunity to upsell or cross-sell other products.
Sadly, when customers have a negative experience with your business, they are likely to share that experience with others, which can lead to negative word-of-mouth and lost sales. In the direct sales industry, where personal relationships are key, poor customer service can be damaging to your reputation and your business.
Mistake #4: Lack of Training and Support for Sales Representatives
In the direct sales industry, consultants are the face of the business. They are responsible for interacting with customers, promoting products, and driving sales. The company that you partner with should have sales and product training available to their reps. You should take advantage of any training that’s provided and if you build a team, be sure you make sure they are well trained.
When considering a direct sales businesses, you want to make sure the company does the following:
Provide clear instructions: When onboarding new sales representatives, make sure the company provides consultants with clear instructions on how to promote products, how to handle customer inquiries, and how to close sales.
Offer ongoing support: The company should do more than just provide training once and then leave sales representatives to fend for themselves. They should offer ongoing support and be available to answer questions and provide guidance as needed.
Provide access to resources: Make sure you have access to the resources you need to be successful, such as product information, marketing materials, and sales tools.
Encourage collaboration: A good direct sales company will encourage their sales representatives to collaborate and share best practices. This can help to build a sense of community and support among the entire company.
Mistake #5: Lack of Focus on Customer Retention
Customer retention ties into customer service, but it also stands on its own. The ideal direct sales company has products that customers continually need. Keeping the customers you already have is cost-effective because finding new ones costs money and time. It also builds brand loyalty and repeat customers often recommend your business to others. This leads to increased revenue.
Customer retention also involves relationship building. Knowing your customers can help you gather feedback. A good customer won’t be afraid to let you know how they truly feel about something. This feedback can help you improve and refine your offerings.
So how do you retain customers?
Keep in touch: After a sale, follow up with your customers and keep the communication going. Email newsletters, social media posts, or even occasional text messages are a great way to engage your customers.
Offer incentives: Who doesn't love a good deal? If your company allows it, offer your customers exclusive discounts, free products, or other incentives to keep them coming back. You can also do personal giveaways.
Provide excellent customer service: Make sure you're responsive to your customers' needs and concerns. Answer their questions, address their issues, and make things right if something goes wrong.
Know your product: Be an expert on the products you sell and be able to answer any questions your customers may have. This will help build trust and credibility with your customers.
Keep it personal: Personalize the customer experience by getting to know your customers and their preferences. This will help you tailor your sales approach to their needs and make them feel valued.
By prioritizing customer retention, you can build strong relationships with your customers and help your business thrive.
Work with a Company That Will Help You Avoid Mistakes
It goes without saying that a good direct sales company will give you all of the information you need to help you be successful. If the sales force doesn’t succeed, neither do they!
Qyral is committed to help every single one of our consultants every step of the way. We’ve done the research and planning and can help answer any questions you have before you even join our team. If skincare, beauty, and wellness are niches you are interested in, we may be a great fit. Our customization concept is unique to direct sales companies, which makes our products unique.
Customer service is just as important to us as it is to you. We have a team that will address any customer concerns when it comes to our products. We will support you and help guide you should any issues arise.
We provide training and education through company calls, retreats, emails, and even social media. We have an extensive team of direct sales experts and a network of seasoned professionals who can guide you as you grow your business. Our training model is as easy as “rinse and repeat.” We’ll teach you tried and true methods.
Besides sales training, we provide product training. Helping you to understand our products and the science behind them is a big part of what we do. Our team stays on top of the latest research so that you don’t have to. And they make everything easy to understand.
Because our customer service and training is a big part of what we do, customer retention is seamless. Sharing our social media posts and marketing is a great way to stay in touch with your customers. We stress the importance of followup and relationship building.
Qyral (qyral.com) is a growing company and now is a great time to get involved. With the people and the tools in place, the sky is the limit! We’re more than just another direct sales company, we’re a community. If you’re interested in a unique concept, we’d love to help you succeed.